Five names in the frame as Coleraine prepare to appoint new manager
Coleraine plan to have a new boss in place by the end of the week with two former Northern Ireland internationals and two ex-Cliftonville managers in the frame for the vacant post.
Bannsiders chairman Colin McKendry confirmed last night that the club will speak to external candidates in the coming days, adding that an internal appointment to replace Rodney McAree remains a possibility.
It is understood the shortlist includes ex-Coleraine, Manchester City and West Ham star Steve Lomas, who won 45 caps for his country before going on to manage St Johnstone and Millwall, ex-Hamilton boss Martin Canning plus Gerard Lyttle and Barry Gray, who have both been in charge of Cliftonville. Coleraine would also like to talk to Ards boss Warren Feeney, who made 46 appearances for Northern Ireland and previously managed Linfield.
All have been spoken about in the Coleraine boardroom and the club are keen to hear how they aim to move the Showgrounds outfit forward.
Had Coleraine's Irish Cup-winning supremo Oran Kearney been available he would have been first choice, but the ex-Linfield ace is preparing for another season with St Mirren having worked wonders to keep them in the Scottish Premiership.
Kearney's old backroom staff of William Murphy, Trevor McKendry and Paul Owens remain in the running to form a new management structure which would include John Gregg. The former Institute boss is highly respected at the club for his excellent work at youth level and he has a Pro Licence, which is a key factor.
It has been over a month since McAree departed Coleraine and McKendry is aware the fans are eager for an announcement.
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"We will be talking to candidates this week and will make a decision by the end of it," said McKendry. "I know the fans are waiting for a decision. I want them to know we have been very busy and are determined to make the right choice."
On an internal appointment, McKendry said: "It is a possibility. They know the club, what is required and standards needed."